Category Archives: Nats/MLB 2005

Nats: Barry Svrluga remembers June 2005

Five years ago, the Washington Nationals were on top of the worldThe Post
The Washington Nationals shocking first half of the 2005, especially the month of June, is recalled by the original Post beat writer, Barry Svrluga. It was simply a magical time when the reality of a D.C. baseball team exceeded the dream. They swept an entire homestand, including my bachelor party game at the end against the Seattle Mariners. Junior Speivey hit a home run that day — Junior Speivey!

Several of the players from that team, Brad Wilkerson, John Patterson and Jose Vidro are out of baseball. Only Cristian Guzman and Livan Hernandez are on the Nats now; the former missed a whole season due to injury and the latter was traded the next year and played for 4 other teams before coming back to D.C. Perhaps the key player in the whole drama was Jose Guillen who alternately sparked the Nats against the Angels and who turned on them after a Pedro Martinez bean ball.

It is a great read and also worth noting that the 2010 Nats also started out with a 26-26 record.

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Nats ballpark (yawn)

I have not been paying very much attention to the continuing saga of the Nats ballpark this week, it is getting very old and not much is really happening or will be for sometime. Anyhow, here are a few articles from the past few days:

D.C. Metro Fund Weighed To Boost Navy Yard Stop
Land Sale Possible To Fund Stadium
City official: Lease still weeks away

There may not be a vote until February. Ugh.

Oh yeah, the Nats picked up a pitcher (ESPN.com), Ramon Ortiz too.

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Powell on "This Week" talks Nats

Powell Gives Thoughts On Stadium DealWRC-TV
Former Secretary Of State Colin Powell was on This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. The two talked about a bunch of unimportant things for a while and then the topic of the Nats came up. The transcript follows:

Buying the Nationals?

Stephanopoulos: You mentioned Washington, D.C. You want to be owner of the Washington, D.C., baseball team, the Nationals.

Powell: Well, I’m on a club that is trying to purchase the Washington Nationals from Major League Baseball, yes.

Stephanopoulos: Think you’re going to get it?

Powell: I certainly hope so. The first thing we have to get is the stadium issue resolved. And the city council has now put that off until early next year.

And I hope the city council will find a way to support the stadium deal. That will work itself out one way or the other. And I think, after that, Major League Baseball will announce who they wish to see own the team.

And I’m fairly confident in the group I’m with, led by Fred Malek, a longtime Washington resident. And there are a lot of us on that club who have roots in this community.

And I think we can do, perhaps, a better job than any other group to represent the interests of the community and to make sure that the Washington Nationals reach out to the community, bring baseball back into the inner city, get more young African-American kids and other minority kids interested in baseball.

Stephanopoulos: Frank Robinson talked about that all the time.

Powell: Yes. And we can can do it. I think our club is perhaps better positioned for doing that.

But, George, you’re giving me a golden opportunity to talk about my club and my company, but there are seven other competitors as well. They’re not as good as us, of course.

Stephanopoulos: Well, it sounds like you think you’re going to get it, then.

You can read the whole transcript here from This Week here: Powell on Iraq, Domestic Spying and Baseball

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Nats: while we were out

In D.C. Drama Over Baseball, It’s Hard to Tell Who’s on FirstThe Post
Remember that gigantic sucking sound last week? It was the leadership vacuum in the District and whenever there is a giant sucking sound in D.C. you know that Marion Barry (file photo) is not far behind.

Oh and just a reminder, Carol Schwartz (R, at-large) wanted everyone to know that she had nothing to do with Barry’s plan.


Nats Bring Back Stanton, Look to Add StartersThe Post
Reliever Mike Stanton, who was traded for a couple of BoSox minor leaguers the last week of the season has resigned with the Nationals. That might have been the best trade Jim Bowden made all year.

More from The Wash. Times: Nationals bring back Stanton

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MLB is being dumb and greedy again

Nats Bidders Told Not to Offer FundsThe Post
After two prospective groups (Ledecky and Haney) tried to assure D.C. that they would pay for cost overruns, MLB e-mailed the prospective groups with instructions to refrain from offering to pitch in.

So, when it comes down to it the District wants Nats owners to take over cost overruns, some prospective owners are willing to agree, and well, fans just want to know that their ball team is going to be around. Can there be any wonder why Bud Selig’s MLB bio comes up in Google when you type “national disgrace?” Back down Bud, the prospective owners know what a good deal it is for them even if they have to spend money for overruns.


Nationals getting a raw dealMSNBC
Some national attention on the Nats plight. My question is where are all of those national columnists who wrote so lovingly of the Nats (Charles Krauthammer, David Brooks, I am looking at you) during the season now? We need you guys smack MLB upside the head in print that the nation reads.

Ballpark impasse affects projectsThe Wash. Times
The delays don’t just bug Nats fans. Without the ballpark, the community benefit fund created under the stadium legislation is in jeopardy. The fund includes up to $125 million for school construction and modernization, $45 million for improving public libraries, $10 million for plans to build a new hospital and $2 million for supplies at McKinley Technology High School in Northeast.

C’mon Selig, think of the children, won’t you please think of the children?!


Hernandez to meet with congressmanThe Wash. Times
¡LIVAN! wants to field a World Baseball Classic team with Cuban defectors and met with Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R) of Florida to discuss plans.

DICK HELLERIf it’s Soriano’s way or nothing, sayonaraThe Wash. Times
Soriano is making Jose Guillen look like a model team player.

Short headed to JapanThe Wash. Times
We already know this is going to happen; The Wash. Times is finally reporting on it.
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Wasn’t this thing suppossed to have been settled last Dec. 21

Barry Acted to Block StadiumThe Post
Marion Barry (D, Ward-8) is making his presence known again and no good can come from that, can it? This article details how he tried to create a deal with prospective owner Jonathan Ledecky on cost overruns. Barry was rallying support on the council for this move, but one of Mayor Anthony Williams aides tipped off MLB, who of course were not in favor Barry’s plan to “dictate terms.” It would all be so facinating if I did not have a horse in this race. Oh and Linda Cropp is pushing the RFK site again, which would be pennywise and pound-foolish.

Someone is going to get a great book out of this ordeal.

More from The Wall Street Journal: Nationals Pass Time Waiting for a Deal To Build a Ballpark & Baseball blues


Stadium Arbitration Could Take MonthsThe Post
If MLB does take D.C. to arbitration it would not be settled easily. I have heard that MLB has the upper hand if it goes that far, but I have also heard the inverse. Let’s hope something gets worked out before it reaches that point. MLB has really overplayed their hand.

D.C. stadium vote delayed until next yearThe Wash. Times
There is no chance that the council will vote on the lease before the Dec. 31 deadline.

THOMAS BOSWELLBaseball, D.C. Are in a League Of Their OwnThe Post
Boswell calls the plight of D.C. and MLB poetic justice (which is pretty much is) while suggesting that they both back down and reach a compromise. If it only it were that easy.

Yuda’s Gameday has my feelings on that matter summed up pefectly.


In Baseball Melodrama, No Shortage of CriticsThe Post
What the peopel are saying.

Nats’ Soriano: A one-year wonder?The Wash. Times
Actual baseball, not politics, talk. Once again, let’s think about how this is another fantastic deal by Jim Bowden.

‘Damn Yankees,’ Batting Solidly in the Mid-FiftiesThe Post
I was debating whether to see “Damn Yankees” in light of all the ballpark melodrama. I think I will.

JIM WILLIAMSON MEDIA: Nats hot stove stays warmThe Wash. Examiner
The ever reliable Williams (8-5!) says a Jose Vidro-Kerry Woods trade might be in the works. Don’t count on it, but if it could happen, I’d say go for for it.
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At least we get to save our Chief Joseph speeches for another day

Council Vote on Stadium DelayedThe Post
More on the ballpark lease vote delay. The mayor just does not have the votes. MLB is prepared to go to arbitration too.

More from The Wash. Times: D.C. Council defers stadium vote & The Wash. Examiner: Stadium lease vote delayed


Without Lease, Nats Are on Shaky GroundThe Post
Count 2006 as a lost season because of all the delays.

JOEL AUCHENBACHIn D.C., Baseball as a Political FootballThe Post
Cliches everywhere!

T(H)OM LOVERROCharge mayor with an errorThe Wash. Times
I just skimmed this one, but it almost looked coherent.

D.C.’s Stadium Deal: Fair or Foul?The Post
City Administrator Robert Bobb writes in favor of the ballpark.

DASHIKI WATCH: Since there is no vote on the ballpark lease today I would be surprised if Mayor Councilman Marion Barry shows up in a dashiki, his old good-to for tough times. I expect him to wear one on the day of the vote.
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Frank is coming back; Rally on monday

Robinson to Return As Nationals ManagerThe Post
Frank Robinson signed a one-year contract to stay on as Nats manager.

The decision, though, was agonizing for both sides, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Some high-ranking Nationals front-office members occasionally became frustrated with Robinson’s strategic maneuvers.

Pitching coach Randy St. Claire and bench coach Eddie Rodriguez stick around; hitting coach Tom McCraw, first base coach Don Buford, third base coach Dave Huppert, bullpen coach Bob Natal and roving instructor Jack Voigt will not.

I like Robinson as a man and a competitor, but he cannot handle pitchers and makes dubious gameday decisions. Hopefully, he will improve this year, because to get to 81 wins again, he is going have to get better.

More from The Wash. Times: Nats bring Robinson back



DICK HELLERNats could do worse than GriffithThe Wash. Times
Heller pens what will probably not be remembered as his best column. It has something to do with Griffith Stadium and old Senators.

LOOSE LIPSPlay BallCityPaper
Another rundown of council votes on the ballpark lease. I hope this one is also correct.

So do you like the Nats? Do you want them to stick around? Maybe you ought to show up at Mayor Williams’ rally on Ballpark Lease Eve:

Baseball

It’s a great catch for DC!

Join
Mayor Anthony A. Williams
for a Baseball Rally

Monday, December 19, 2005
Noon – 12:30pm

Freedom Plaza
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

I cannot make it because I work outside the Beltway, but if you can, show up and give some support.

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THE MAYOR IS…LOBBYING FOR THE BALLPARK?

Williams, MLB Turn Up Heat On Council’s Stadium FoesThe Post
Wait a minute, could it be the mayor is actually trying to encourage people to support the ballpark by talking to them one on one?

It could be a day late and a dollar short at this point.

More from The Wash. Times: Mayor hits real price tag of RFK


Creating some hypeThe Wash. Examiner
All the talk of the “Anacostia” ballpark is kind of misleading because the real Anacostia is Ward 8 on the opposite side of the river. Yavocka Young, executive director of Main Street Anacostia is excited, but thinks any benefits of the ballpark would be indirect. David Catania, I-at large is quoted a lot too.

MARC FISHERSome on Council Trying to Cover All the BasesThe Post
Fisher goes over each councilmember’s stance on the ballpark and comes up with a 7-6 vote in favor of the lease. I hope he is right.

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MLB: DON’T BUILD AT RFK

Baseball Opposes Moving StadiumThe Post
MLB sent a letter to Linda Cropp telling her and the council that they are not on board with building the new ballpark at RFK. It would might be cheaper for the District, but would have less of an economic upside. I agree with MLB, but their arrogance is not helping anything; but then again, when has it?

Yesterday was also a busy day for the council as they talked about the ballpark. MissChatter followed the deliberations throughout the day at Just A Nats Fan.

More from The Wash. Times: MLB rules out site near RFK for ballpark


For New Nat Soriano, A Question of Position
The Alfonso Soriano trade is officially complete. Since he was traded to the Nats for Brad Wilkerson and others, he has announced that he is not interested in playing left field. He also can’t pitch, which is what the Nats really need.

While Wilkerson had kind of a tough year in 2005, he played wherever he was needed, including all outfield positions and first base. He took a lot of pitches too. I think he can also pitch, though he has not since either college or high school. Oh, and he was $5 million cheaper than Soriano. Plus, he was “The Last Expo” and the first National to get a hit. When it comes down to it, Brad played hardball. I do not think Chevy Chase Bank is jumping up and down to make a Soriano commerical either, do you?

Gee, thanks Jim Bowden, too bad Boston did not want you. Who can blame them when you trade a steady team player because he did not get along with the volatile journeyman that is Jose Guillen. You know, the guy who has burnt his bridges to the clubhouses of every team he had played for previously. Duh!

More from The Wash. TimesSoriano, Nats get chance to talk


T(H)OM LOVERROMLB needs to threaten councilThe Wash. Times
Not content with the anti-RFK letter from MLB, Loverro wants MLB to bully the council more. Um, my read of the council is that this is exactly the wrong thing to do.
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